While I know some of us may find it hard to comprehend (on some level I struggle to believe this myself!), not everyone is a chocolate fiend. And while I am all about Easter being a celebration of chocolate in all its wondrous incarnations, there is room on my table (and in my belly) for these delicious, citrusy doughnuts as a great chocolate-alternative treat. I would serve these up with good strong espresso for the grown-ups to enjoy while my nephews and young cousins tear up the backyard on an Easter egg hunt. They taste great when still warm – and even better with fresh cream.
Makes approximately 24 doughnuts--
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
grated zest from one orange and one lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 egg whites, at room temperature
2-1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
oil for deep frying – any lightly flavoured oil is fine, I used rice bran oil
sugar and cinnamon for coating cooked doughnuts
whipped cream for serving
1. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl. Add the sugar, milk, orange and lemon peel, vanilla, and cinnamon, mixing well after each addition.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff.
3. Add egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and stir lightly a couple of times. Be gentle – you don’t want to loose all the air you’ve put into the egg whites.
4. Sift in flour, add orange juice and stir through – you should end up with a sticky batter, rather than dry dough.
5. Cover and leave to rest for one hour. Don’t stir the batter again.
6. Fill a large saucepan or deep frypan with around 8 cm (3 inches) of oil and heat. Test the oil is ready by dipping a little batter in – if it bubbles rapidly and floats, the oil is hot enough. If not – wait!
7. Make a test doughnut – drop a heaped teaspoon of batter into the oil and fry. Set it aside for a couple of minutes (the high heat means they keep cooking for a couple of minutes after being taken out of the oil). Pull it apart and check it is cooked through, golden on the outside and fluffy inside. Success? Then proceed to the next step. If not – adjust oil temperature accordingly and repeat test.
8. Add spoonfuls of mixture to the hot oil and fry for around one minute each side – until golden brown. As it cooks the batter will puff up into little golden balls of deliciousness.
9. Drain on paper towels and toss in a bowl of sugar and cinnamon. As you will be cooking the doughnuts in batches, keep the cooked doughnuts warm in a low oven (60˚C) until ready to serve.
Serve warm, split in half and filled with freshly whipped cream.
Tips and tricks
Having your oil too cold will cause the doughnuts to absorb too much oil and become gluggy.
Having your oil too hot will cause the doughnuts to cook too fast, leaving the middle raw.